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i'm david gregory and this is "press pass", to an extra meet the press conference. this week the two men who tried to tackle the fiscal crisis last year, simpson-bowles plan is back in the decision 2012 spotlight now. welcome both. it's like going to the mall with justin bieber hanging out with the two of you. but senator, there's something to that, you go around the country and talk in great detail about what you proposed. what is the reaction you get? >> people are thirsting for
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somebody not to give them bs and mush and erskine and i gave them numbers. we don't have power point or charts, we just tell you where your country is. the trajectory of debt and deficit and interest is as same as portugal, iraq, iran -- greece. >> poland is still in -- i won't go -- but it's sad and we take questions. we don't filter the questions. they can ask anything they want. they can be from aarp, seniors, teachers and they'll give us a standing ovation, thirsting for somebody to tell them the truth where their country is going. >> republican and democrat do that who really care about each other. >> you don't think we're getting that in this debate in this campaign season? >> i don't think there's nearly enough substance to me it's a
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real disappoint. why isn't there the substance? >> because it's hard. the problems are real and the solutions are painful. there's no easy way out and i think the candidates are afraid to stand up and say, look, we've got to make tough choices. we've got to have some shared sacrifice. >> bottom line in this, simpson-bowles proposed a way to deal with the debt crisis and what did it call for? >> basically what we want to do, reduce the deficit by $4 trillion. we didn't make up $4 trillion because the number four bus passed us on the street. it is the minimum amount you need, not the maximum or the ideal amount. it's the minimum amount to stabilize the debt and get it on a downward path as a pars of gdp. we got 3 trillion from reducing spending and 1 trillion from reforming the tax code,
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eliminating this backdoor spending in the tax code and using about 90% of that money to reduce income tax rates. >> all tax rates would come down. people would pay less taxes. >> people would have lower tax rates. people wouldn't necessarily pay less taxes. >> they would pay more by eliminating deductions and other loopholes and what not. >> deductions, credits, special deals cut with various members of congress. >> i interviewed governor romney and made it clear to him, he wants to extend the bush tax cuts and cut 20% beyond that and increase defense spending and rejected a 10-1 spending cut to tax hike ratio. you made it clear his math doesn't add up, he can't balance the budget with that set? >> i don't think he can. i think the math is easy to prove. but let's give -- let's give him
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his due. we also want to reform the tax code. we want to broaden base and simplify the code and get rif of a tax expenditures. he's only getting rid of tax expenditures for the top income taxpayers. that doesn't -- if you just eliminate those tax expenditures and don't affect the middle class, then you're not going to generate enough money to reduce income tax rates by 20%, especially when you also make at the same time the argument that you're not going to touch tax preferences for capital gains. the arithmetic doesn't work. >> let me tell you the real one. if anyone thinks we're hollowing out the defense budget, the only thing hollowed out is your brain. we're at 750 billion in defense and the top 15 countries on earth, including russia and china combined are 540 billion. they have the health care plan for only 2.2 million people and
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the premium is 470 bucks a year. no co-pay and takes care of all of their dependents and cost $53 billion a year. and you mess with that, i'm a member of the vfw, lifetime member, and the american legion, you will be cremated. >> david, i've got plenty of problems with president obama's plan but to stick with romney's for a second. the very reason having a balanced plan was at the core of our commission's recommendations that if you have a revenue neutral plan like governor romney proposed to have and generate no revenues for deficit reduction from revenues. >> that's what revenue neutral means. >> and you're going to increase defense spending by $1.8 trillion and you're going to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over ten years. that means you have to cut everything else by $5.8 trillion. that's the arithmetic.
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and therefore, the cuts you have to make in the income support programs that really take care of truly disadvantaged and the cuts you have to make in education and infrastructure and high val u ated research that are so important for america to be competitive in this global economy, are just too deep. and unnecessary. that's why we want d to have a balanced plan that took $1 trillion from revenue and we will were very clear, we wanted to make the cuts across the board whether it was defense, nondefense or the entitlement programs. we wanted to have everybody have a stake in the game. >> there's still some pockets we haven't hit but we'll get to them. >> talk about president obama. taken a lot of flack for not taking simpson-bowles and running with it, there seems to be more momentum around reviving
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sim pson boelz in some fashion. talk about what president obama proposed and where you think it doesn't add up. >> it wasn't surprising to us. it was a little surprising to erskine that he walked away from our proposal. and the reason, his base would have sheered him like sheep, you didn't do guantanamo, you said you were going to do that. you said you were going to do this and now you're talking about doing something to precious seniors and entitlements. unless you deal with health care and forget what you call it, it is the single largest driving force of where we're headed over the cliff and that's it. and if he had voted for that, his base would have ripped him and more importantly at that time, december of 2010, the republicans would have voted against it enmasse. >> there are three problems we have with president obama's plan. you know, again, he meets our challenge of at the core being a
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balanced plan. but on the revenue side, we think there's a better way to generate that revenue rather than raising rates. we believe getting rid of this backdoor spending in the tax code and using -- >> explain what that means for people who don't follow this. >> getting rid of these deductions and credits and these special interest deals that have been made to reduce the revenue that people -- the taxes that people have to pay. we don't think president obama has gone far enough in his reduction on entitlement spending, he has $274 billion worth of cut to medicare and medicaid. give him credit for saying i'm going to make these cuts. if we slow the rate of growth of health care to the rate of growth of the economy or gdp plus one, which some people want to get to, then we have to have higher cuts. we had $475 billion in our plan. we too would have to go further.
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we're the first to admit that. neither the president or governor romney do anything about social security. social security is $900 billion cash negative over the next decade. you know, what we said, we have to make social security sustainably solvent. and neither one of them address that in the budget. >> we'll take a quick break and be right back with more from allen simpson and erskine bowles when we come back. kitchen may have crossed this bridge. your new car probably rode these rails. that shipment you just received was tracked by satellite. we build and maintain. we invest and innovate. so we can deliver what america needs. this year alone, freight rail companies plan to spend twenty-three billion of their own money, not taxpayer dollars, to build bridges, maintain track, and develop new technologies to keep freight rail and our economy moving. there's a lot riding on these rails.
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we're back with more of our press pass coverage with allen simpson and erskine bowles. what is your level of confidence in a second obama term or first romney term that these issues get dealt with in a way that resolves this crisis that we're? >> first of all, i'm frightened that we're going to breach this fiscal cliff and we're going to what i would call really vet the country and take that high risk. that could lead to really horrible economic results. i met with the president and i -- >> take you to the wood shed. took the axe. >> i did take the axe. >> i don't have political fear don't want jobs up here, don't want -- allen and i are not looking to feather our nest.
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i'm confident that after the election he's prepared to negotiate with the republicans and come up with a plan that falls within the framework of what we've talked about. >> i believe that too. >> do republicans change their view about opposing him on mass if he prevails for a second term? >> if they don't begin to deal honestly with things without the hysteria and the using emotion, fear, guilt and racism and everything else, they will be a party that won't make it through. when you have 82 guys in the congress who didn't come to limit government, they are there to stop it. i mean, i always say to them, especially guys over 65, holding up with their fragile -- and i say, first thing want to get rid of is your medicare because that's a government program and simpson -- i mean, this is nuts, get rid of garbage collection, what doey

Meet the Presss Press Pass
NBC September 16, 2012 11:30am-11:45am EDT

News News/Business. David Gregory. An extra conversation about what's driving Washington and the nation.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Romney 4, Obama 4, America 2, Us 2, Allen Simpson 2, Erskine Bowles 2, Russia 1, Greece 1, Poland 1, Aarp 1, China 1, Iran 1, Iraq 1, Allen 1, David Gregory 1, Guantanamo 1, Justin Bieber 1, Portugal 1
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Duration 00:15:00
Scanned in Annapolis, MD, USA
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on 9/16/2012